I use EXWM sometimes, but while i do appreciate it, i found myself using other WM and DE (either because i use my emacs config on another computer, since the config is in a usb stick, or other off-topic reasons) but because of the way i use it, which is the following:

 (use-package exwm
    :ensure t

      ;; necessary to configure exwm manually
      (require 'exwm-config)

      ;; fringe size, most people prefer 1 
      (fringe-mode 3)

      ;; emacs as a daemon, use "emacsclient <filename>" to seamlessly edit files from the terminal directly in the exwm instance

      ;; this fixes issues with ido mode, if you use helm, get rid of it

      ;; a number between 1 and 9, exwm creates workspaces dynamically so I like starting out with 1
      (setq exwm-workspace-number 1)

      ;; this is a way to declare truly global/always working keybindings
      ;; this is a nifty way to go back from char mode to line mode without using the mouse
      (exwm-input-set-key (kbd "s-r") #'exwm-reset)
      (exwm-input-set-key (kbd "s-k") #'exwm-workspace-delete)
      (exwm-input-set-key (kbd "s-w") #'exwm-workspace-swap)

      ;; the next loop will bind s-<number> to switch to the corresponding workspace
      (dotimes (i 10)
        (exwm-input-set-key (kbd (format "s-%d" i))
                            `(lambda ()
                               (exwm-workspace-switch-create ,i))))

      ;; the simplest launcher, I keep it in only if dmenu eventually stopped working or something
      (exwm-input-set-key (kbd "s-&")
                          (lambda (command)
                            (interactive (list (read-shell-command "$ ")))
                            (start-process-shell-command command nil command)))

      ;; an easy way to make keybindings work *only* in line mode
      (push ?\C-q exwm-input-prefix-keys)
      (define-key exwm-mode-map [?\C-q] #'exwm-input-send-next-key)

      ;; simulation keys are keys that exwm will send to the exwm buffer upon inputting a key combination
         ;; movement
         ([?\C-b] . left)
         ([?\M-b] . C-left)
         ([?\C-f] . right)
         ([?\M-f] . C-right)
         ([?\C-p] . up)
         ([?\C-n] . down)
         ([?\C-a] . home)
         ([?\C-e] . end)
         ([?\M-v] . prior)
         ([?\C-v] . next)
         ([?\C-d] . delete)
         ([?\C-k] . (S-end delete))
         ;; cut/paste
         ([?\C-w] . ?\C-x)
         ([?\M-w] . ?\C-c)
         ([?\C-y] . ?\C-v)
         ;; search
         ([?\C-s] . ?\C-f)))

      ;; this little bit will make sure that XF86 keys work in exwm buffers as well
      (dolist (k '(XF86AudioLowerVolume
      (cl-pushnew k exwm-input-prefix-keys))

      ;; this just enables exwm, it started automatically once everything is ready

I come to want to be able to start EXWM (as emacs start) only if no other DE or WM are in use. How could i make that work with my current config?


I look for the existence of a window manager using wmctrl -m. If that command outputs anything on stderr I assume there is no window manager and run the EXWM startup.

(when (get-buffer "*window-manager*")
  (kill-buffer "*window-manager*"))
(when (get-buffer "*window-manager-error*")
  (kill-buffer "*window-manager-error*"))
(when (executable-find "wmctrl")
  (shell-command "wmctrl -m ; echo $?" "*window-manager*" "*window-manager-error*"))

  ;; if there was an error detecting the window manager, initialize EXWM
  (when (and (get-buffer "*window-manager-error*")
             (eq window-system 'x))
    ;; exwm startup goes here
  • 1
    Nice, completely forgot about using wmctrl – Nordine Lotfi Sep 2 '20 at 15:38

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